An Ohio bill that seeks to impose restrictions on asbestos claims has moved one step closer to becoming law.
The Toledo Blade reports that the Ohio asbestos bill was passed by a 19-14 vote in the state's Senate late last week. The bill aims to prevent duplicate lawsuits over on-the-job asbestos exposure in Ohio, which has a massive backlog of such cases. The bill still needs approval by Ohio Gov. John Kasich before becoming law.
The bill, which was approved by the Ohio House in January 2012, does not cap the damages that victims can seek and preserves the right to sue, according to the Associated Press (AP). It would, however, require that the plaintiffs submit a record of all the asbestos-related claims filed by them or on their behalf or face perjury charges.
The bill's proponents told the AP it is designed to prevent asbestos victims from double-dipping and pursuing claims both through asbestos trusts that bankrupt companies set up to compensate victims and through mesothelioma lawsuits filed against active businesses.
Critics of the Ohio asbestos bill, however, point out that it will impede legitimate asbestos claims in a state with the nation's eighth highest death rate from mesothelioma, a deadly asbestos-related disease. They say its passage would make Ohio the first state in the country to impose such claims restrictions.
Similar legislation has been introduced in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, and West Virginia and in the U.S. House and Senate, reports AP.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, contact Sokolove Law today for a free legal consultation and to learn more about pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit.